Description

Democracy is instituted at Athens, a powerful city-state in Ancient Greece, after reforming the constitution by Cleisthenes, a noble Athenian of the Alcmaeonid family, which becomes one of reasons that ensure economic growth and cultural flourishing of Athens

Location

Ancient Greece

Rate

Strong importance (9)

Sphere

Government, Politics

Quotations

By these reforms the constitution became much more democratic than that of Solon. The laws of Solon had been obliterated by disuse during the period of the tyranny, while Cleisthenes substituted new ones with the object of securing the goodwill of the masses. Among these was the law concerning ostracism. Four year after the establishment of this system, in the archonship of Hermocreon, they first imposed upon the Council of Five Hundred the oath which they take to the present day. Next they began to elect the generals by tribes, one from each tribe, while the Polemarch was the commander of the whole army. Then, eleven years later, in the archonship of Phaenippus they won the battle of Marathon; and two years after this victory, when the people had now gained self-confidence, they for the first time made use of the law of ostracism.

Aristotle, The Athenian Constitution

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